Les Miserables is one of the most referenced musicals ever. Sure, it’s got some competition from Phantom of the Opera and Cats, but in general, no other musical has permeated pop culture the way Les Miz has. From Susan Boyle to South Park to, yeah, even Homeland, the references are all over the place, and we compiled a list of the 10 biggest ones we could think of. You might have forgotten about some of these, but we’re here to refresh your memory and get you as psyched as George Costanza to see this movie when it comes out Christmas day.
1. The guys at South Park love them some Les Miz. They named an episode from season four “Prisoner 24601,” but their biggest homage to the show was the anthemic “La Resistance” song from the Bigger, Longer, And Uncut film. An obvious nod to “One Day More,” it’s rousing, it’s patriotic…it brings a tear to the eye, really. Fans on YouTube have created dozens of comparisons between the Les Miz version and the South Park song (here’s just one) but here’s a crappy clip from the movie.
2. George Costanza might have been master of his domain on Seinfeld but he also had a thing for “Master of the House,” which he just could NOT get out of his head for an entire episode. But who hasn’t gotten this song stuck in their head? Yet another reason that Seinfeld is the best, most accurate show in history, they turned every real-life annoyance into a plot line.
3. The Simpsons wouldn’t be The Simpsons if they didn’t tip their hat to every single pop cultural phenomenon in history, so of course, like South Park they also had a Prisoner 24601 reference, but this time it was Principal Skinner’s POW number. It was also used as Sideshow Bob’s prisoner number. Read more…
My awesome colleague Halle Kiefer reported this past Friday that Carrie Underwood has been picked to play Maria von Trapp in a new NBC revival of The Sound Of Music. Halle was excited by the news, but she did acknowledge that there are purists out there who “might find Carrie too pop/country/tan/not Julie Andrews to step into Julie Andrews’ shoes.” That’s me. I’ve seen the film at least 20 times, I own commemorative plates, books, and the newly released 45th Anniversary Edition of the film on Blu-Ray and DVD (complete with karaoke singalong tracks and a keepsake music box!), I DVR’d the crap out of the cast reunion on Oprah and I nearly turned my honeymoon into a whirlwind tour of Salzburg so I could “Do Re Mi” up the steps of the Mirabell Gardens. So yeah, I’m a fan. And I’m not feeling Carrie Underwood.
It pains me to see anyone try to do justice to the role that, to me, IS Julie Andrews, and while I think Carrie has a killer voice, there’s something about her “type” that’s not sitting well with me. Yes, Halle, it’s partly the country/tan aspect, but I wish someone with maybe a little more, you know, acting experience, had been chosen. Broadway vet/Bunheads star Sutton Foster maybe? Rachel Weisz, who has some kind of hold on me when I think of cool, young maternal types? (But can she sing? I have no idea — even if she can, I bet she’s not a soprano.) Or yes, even Anne Hathaway, who co-starred in The Princess Diaries with Andrews and seems like a natural fit (THIS WOULD NOT BE MY FIRST CHOICE, I’M JUST SAYIN’ SHE’D BE BETTER THAN CARRIE). But seeing that I can’t change the casting of Maria, I’m at least going to put in my two cents about who else should join the film and make it tolerable since this is happening and there’s nothing else I can do about it.
I remember when I was in college, I visited New York City and one of the things on my to-do list was to watch an episode of The Robin Byrd Show, the famous local-access show that was parodied on SNL. I wanted to know everything about being a “REAL” New Yorker, and apparently, watching this show was an important piece of that puzzle. But to all of you aspiring New Yorkers, let me advise you, don’t be like me. Late night cable access is not where it’s at anymore. What makes you a true New Yorker is an obsessive knowledge of our local commercials. Our local cable station,NY1 (and its glorious morning anchor Pat Kiernan) do a great job of running some real classics, and we’ve picked our favorites through the years so you can get acquainted with what to expect when you move into your new apartment in SqaViNetA (that’s the new, hot neighborhood, it stands for the Squatters Village In Nets Arena).
10. Grand Prospect Hall
The Grand Prospect Hall. This is the mother of all New York television spots. Trust me when I say that all New Yorkers are conditioned to say “The Gran’ Prospeh Hall…We make you dreams cahm true!” the instant that Vivaldi starts playing.
9. Raymour & Flanigan
My only goal in life, other than to be a world-famous blogger of local TV commercials, is to sing in a local TV commercial. Specifically, I want to be one of the “Oh..Oh” singers in the Raymour And Flanigan spot.
Everyone knows that not paying taxes can become a celebrity’s legacy. (Go with me on this.) When someone mentions Willie Nelson or Wesley Snipes, if you don’t automatically make a joke about weed or Passenger 57, the next easy go-to in your bag of Nelson-Snipes jokes is totally about tax evasion, I just know it. But stars who don’t abide by the tax code are such a common thing that it’s not that shocking anymore once you hear who’s been in hot water for it. Martha Stewart. Snoop Dogg. Val Kilmer. Teri Polo! Clearly she wasn’t reporting her income from being a Miss America judge.
So sure, lots of celebs get in trouble for it, but haven’t we all wondered who the sexiest tax evaders are? We sure have:
12. Burt Reynolds
This centerfold was no angel (see what I did there?), Burt owed the state of California $225,000 back in 1996.
As a kid, I was conditioned to cherish that brief, six-week window when Saturday morning cartoons were interrupted by the parade of soft, cuddly animals auditioning to replace the Cadbury bunny in the run-up to Easter. Cadbury still shows the occasional bok-bok-ing bunny commercial, but beyond that, Easter as a marketing ploy seems to have fizzled out for some reason. Which is too bad because Easter used to provide some great marketing opportunities. My top five Easter commercials of all time? I’m glad you asked.
I love that this commercial is basically a Benetton ad of diversity that extended to time-traveling children who are beaten by their peers for candy.
Before Game Of Thrones premiered on HBO last year, I was one of those people who assumed it was going to be a vaguely Middle Earth-y, Medieval-y show that I would watch to placate my husband, who was a fan of the books (and who who actually chastised me for misspelling incest-loving blond bombshell Jaime Lannister‘s name in a tweet the other day). Basically, I was prepared to hate this show. But I do not hate it, in fact I like it very much. But I do hate f*cking Joffrey.
Here’s the thing: Sure a girl with a dragon tattoo sounds like she’d be an ass-kicking, hearty soul with a knack for solving murders and putting together Ikea furniture without the help of an Allen wrench. Obviously. But I’m pretty sure that’s just because we’ve been conditioned to think that ever since the book of the same name arrived on the shelves of everyone’s local Barnes and Noble five or so years ago. See, here in America, a girl with a dragon tattoo is much more likely to be, say, a down on her luck nineteen-year-old who owns more than one pair of vinyl pants and has a boyfriend who loves to take “artistic” photos of her while she sleeps. These are women whose body art is less “Scandinavian Crime Whiz” and more “Do I loop my thumbs into my pantiesthis way to look sexy?”
So, to celebrate the December 21 release of a soon to be family-fun holiday classic, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, here are 20 Other Girls With Dragon Tattoos. (Some images slightly buttcracky and therefore NSFW.)
Perhaps the only photo shoot ever where there was a Lysol Wipes handler.